Newsletter: Gold Standard: It’s Oscar nominations crystal ball time

Alfonso Cuarón figures to have a good day when Oscar nominations are announced Tuesday.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Oscar nominations arrive Tuesday and with them, the annual outpouring of elation and anger, thanks and fury, the creation and perpetuation of hashtags and a rampant misuse of the word “snub.”

Welcome to the Gold Standard, the newsletter from the Los Angeles Times that helps guide you through the ins and outs of the awards season leading up to the Oscars.

I’m Glenn Whipp, The Times’ awards columnist and your newsletter host.

My Oscar nominations predictions for all 24 categories

“Roma” could become become the first Netflix movie nominated for best picture. “Black Panther” might make Marvel a newbie Oscar powerhouse. Bradley Cooper could earn nominations for producing, directing, co-writing and acting in “A Star Is Born.” Alfonso Cuarón could go one step better, picking up five nods as a producer, director, writer, cinematographer and co-editor on “Roma,” a movie that will also be nominated for foreign language film.


And 29 years after “Do the Right Thing,” Spike Lee might finally earn his first nomination as a director for “BlacKkKlansman.”

Who’s going to be celebrating Tuesday morning? I combed through all 24 categories, predicting the nominees. (Yes, even for the shorts. Which means I cried my way through “Bao” again, just for you.)

Presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty give Guillermo del Toro his Oscar for best picture for “The Shape of Water” during the telecast of the 90th Academy Awards.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Actors union goes public in kerfuffle with film academy

With less than six weeks to go before the 91st Oscars, the film academy remains tight-lipped about its plans for the show and whether it will have a host or not.

But on Monday, the SAG-AFTRA performers guild said the motion picture academy has been active on the awards show front, accusing the organization of using intimidation in an attempt to limit actors from presenting on awards shows other than the Oscars.

The public accusation lays bare an awards season open secret — despite being the last ceremony on the calendar, the Academy Awards want first pick of the stars.

Speaking on background, so as not to jeopardize their clients’ relationships with the motion picture academy, several personal publicists said this kind of strong-arming has been going on for years, particularly with regard to the Golden Globes.

A SAG-AFTRA spokesperson told The Times that the union had reached out to the academy and was “talking with our member leaders to determine next steps.”

Stay tuned.

SXSW Film Festival lineup set

Though the South By Southwest Film Festival isn’t a huge launching pad for awards season fare, several movies premiering there have gone on to great things. The 2011 high school football documentary “Undefeated” won the Oscar for documentary feature. Edgar Wright’s zippy action thriller “Baby Driver” earned three Oscar nominations last year. And John Krasinski’s acclaimed horror movie “A Quiet Place” debuted there last year.

Times film writer Mark Olsen previews this year’s festival, which includes “Us,” Jordan Peele’s highly anticipated follow-up to “Get Out.” The best thing about SXSW though is that we often don’t know what movies are going to pop. (Well, maybe Mark knows. He’s pretty plugged in to this scene.)


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